Tag Archive: bilgemunky’s favorites

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl

Rating: ★★★★★
So I’ve been asked when I would get around to reviewing Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. To be honest, I haven’t bothered because I really don’t think I can contribute much to what’s already been said. Most reviews have been glowing, and I agree with them. Those that have found nits to pick, I think, are just trying to be contrary. If you haven’t seen it then do so. Now.

OK, fine. While I’m here I suppose I should say a little about this movie that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Much that’s been said elsewhere is worth repeating – Jack Sparrow is fantastic. Elizabeth Swann is a wonderful actress and sooo very hot. Will Turner, well, I’m not all swoony about Orlando Bloom, but the character he’s meant to portray is a hotheaded blacksmith, and he portrays him quite well. But the one under-rated character in all this is Commodore Norrington. By all rights, this character should have been the butt of the movie. He’s a pompous authority figure who dresses like a dandy and manages to lose his captive (twice,) lose his ship, and lose the girl – yet through it all he remains honorable and comes across as the noblest man of the whole lot. I think this is an incredible achievement by both the writers and the actor. And it’s details like this that make this a remarkably splendid film.

Review: Roman Polanski’s Pirates

Rating: ★★★★★
I think this is the single most under-rated pirate movie of all time. I’ve read review after review that criticizes it, claiming it’s too slow, too silly, too lacking in plot, etc, etc. Heck, one reviewer even rates it the same as that true disaster, Cutthroat Island.

So let me set the record straight – this is an absolutely gorgeous, terribly fantastic movie. The costumes are phenominal, as are the sets, the acting, and the writing. The story itself revolves around Captain Redd, a down-on-his-luck pirate adrift on a raft with his first mate, the Frog. Vulgar, crude, greedy, and scheming, Captain Redd is a walking cliché who shows us why the cliché became a cliché in the first place, capable of shouting such catchphrases as “me hearties” and “by thunder” with ease and gusto. Rescued by the Spanish Galleon, Neptune, Redd and Frog soon grow weary of the ill-treatment they’re forced to endure at the hands of the ship’s First Officer, Don Alfonso. A pompous peacock of a man, Don Alfonso soon suffers a humiliating defeat when Captain Redd convinces the crew to mutiny and turn to a life of piracy. Control of the ship then changes hands a few more times throughout the Caribbean as Captain Redd and Don Alfonso repeatedly butt heads and take it in turns to reseize the Neptune and, more importanly, its precious cargo of a golden Aztec throne. (more…)

Review: Once Upon a Wave

Rating: ★★★★☆
Pirate Jenny
www.kevinhendrickson.com/kh/pirate-jenny/pirate-jenny.html

Buy the CD
Genre: Contemporary pirate rock and alternative.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Ages 15 and up

I heard Never Sea Land first. It’s how I was introduced to Pirate Jenny, and how I fell in love with them. So by default, Never Sea Land is my favorite. Were it not for that edge, I might argue that Once Upon a Wave is the slightly better album. Or I might not – I’m really indecisive on this one. In Never Sea Land I was briefly introduced to the character Captain Slaymore. In Once Upon a Wave he returns along with Scabby the seaman. This was when it becomes apparent there is actually a story at works. Scamalot, pirate paradise, is in a state of transition. Its walls are in peril and a new king must rise. Of course, it’s not as straightforward as that, but its close enough. (more…)

Review: Never Sea Land

Rating: ★★★★☆
Pirate Jenny: Never Sea Land
http://www.kevinhendrickson.com/kh/pirate-jenny/pirate-jenny.html

Buy the CD
Genre: Contemporary pirate rock and alternative.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Ages 15 and up

What can I say about this album? It’s unfair of me to review it, I’m too biased.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with sea shanties. Schooner Fare and its ilk were what I listened to as a teenager (which is probably why I didn’t get invited to the cool parties.) But in time I needed something different. Enter Pirate Jenny. (more…)

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean PC Game

Rating: ★★★★☆
pirates.bethsoft.com/firstsite/main.html

I admit being perturbed at the name change. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. But I also loved that Seadogs was made by a small company I’d never heard of. I loved that they were making a sequel. But I didn’t love that Disney came along and bought that sequel and slapped their logo on it. (more…)

Review: Seadogs

Rating: ★★★★☆
www.bethsoft.com

I bought this game on a whim – didn’t know a thing about it but the box looked good. One of the best spontaneous purchases I ever made. Beautiful graphics, relatively easy ship controls, and absolutely wonderful music (this holds espically true when you visit a pirate village, where the background music is ripe with “yo hos” – very fun.) In the game you play Nicholas Sharp, a pirate captain that you can take ashore to buy goods and chat with the locals, or take aboard your ship to pillage and plunder. Best of all, whenever you give a command you hear a piratey voice say things like “Full sails, aye captain” or “Cannons loaded, captain.”

A fine, fine game, but it does have about three real sticking points. First, it’s buggy as hell. But this is easily fixed with a patch available at the official website. The second point is that there seem to be multiple missions and plotlines interwoven, and it’s tricky to tell what you’re supposed to do when in order to keep the story moving along. And the third is that the game starts you off in a weak little boat making it almost impossible to survive. But when you do finally climb up the ladder to bigger and better ships, it almost becomes too easy.

A beautiful but flawed game.